Money Management

5 simple steps to weather a financial storm

An economic storm can cause anxiety and stress for new or smaller business owners. If you run a small business you don’t have the luxury of enforcing protective measures to help you weather a recession or hard times. Many business owners feel uncomfortable asking for help or advice on how to handle their credit or cash flow situation and it’s no secret you are seen as a bit of a risk by banks. But don’t let that get you down. There are plenty of other options to cut costs and get advice. Nadine Bourne from www.xlntelecom.co.uk takes us through a couple of ways in which new or small SMEs can prepare themselves for a financial storm:

1. Make forecasts

If you are worried about the future, it’s important to be prepared and ready for what is coming next. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by making a realistic cash-flow forecast. With this you can invent a couple of situations like a drop in customers or revenue and then using the forecast, assess how well your business could survive.

If you’ve got an iPhone, try the Cash Flow HD app to calculate your forecast or you can stick to good old Excel.

2. Take a look at your bank balance

Whoever you bank with, they ought offer you some shelter against your economic storm. You should talk to your bank manager about whether you are getting the best deal for your business account and whether loans or an overdraft facility are available.  It’s always good to keep an eye on the press about your chosen bank for any changes which may affect lending. If the time has come to switch accounts with a new bank, really do your homework on your options by comparing deals – read the fine print and look out for any hidden charges!

There are plenty of comparison tables and tools available on the internet to compare account options if you are thinking about switching.

3. Cut your expenses

Expenses can build up a lot of overheads for your business so cutting down will help you save cash for your business. When you need to make a purchase, think about it. Do you need to buy the latest MacBook pro, or could you go with a cheaper option? Travel expenses can also add up. Consider cheaper alternatives to things like taxis to meet clients. To save even more money you could hold meetings on the phone or Skype – the added bonus being big time savings too.

4. Cut down on monthly costs

As with anything, no matter how much you budget and save, costs like rent and bills will always need to be paid on time. Since these are unavoidable and cannot be cut out, the next step is to try and save on them. Look on internet comparison sites and ask your friends and neighbours how much they are paying. Business phone and broadband can be expensive, so if you’re a small business, look for a provider who only deals with small businesses. Are you paying too much for rent? Maybe you could look for cheaper premises. And try to avoid signing up to long term contracts so if things get difficult you can get out without too much bother.

5. Think about your employment costs

Paying employees is a necessary cost to keep your business running. But if you are thinking about recruiting new staff members, first think about whether any of your current staff could fill this gap through paid overtime or as a new job role. If you do have to employ new people, make sure you recruit effectively as this can be a costly process. Take the time to find the right person for the job, don’t rush and hire someone who won’t live up to what you need. 

Money Management

Payday Advance Loans Online – A Great Loan Option for Those with Bad Credit

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Sometimes in life, you will need money fast. If you have bad credit, this can be a real problem. However, you don’t have to worry, as you should be able to get a payday loan online, without having to go through a credit check.

It’s Easy to Get a Payday Loan

There are only very few requirements to be able to receive a payday loan. These are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must hold a valid bank account.
  • You must a citizen of this country.
  • You must be employed or have proof or regular income.

What to Expect

You need to know how these types of loans work. Basically, when you apply for payday advance loans online, you will ask a lender to give you some money using your paycheck as collateral. The lender knows how much you earn and calculates how much of that is disposable income, against which they borrow you some money. There are limits to how much this can be, as you must be able to pay it back. However, there are no limits on how you can use the money.

When you apply for your loan, you will have to give the lender the details of your bank account into which your salary is paid. This is because your loan principle and interest will be taken straight out of your bank account on the agreed payment date. Usually, this is either the payday straight after the day you asked for your loan, or the one after that. Some companies do allow you to defer your loan for additional months, but you will then have to pay the interest every month.

How to Find a Payday Loan Online

There are many lenders available right now that offer payday loans. Indeed, if you were to check your spam inbox, you are likely to see several emails relating to this type of lending. This means that you do have to spend a little bit of time to find the one that is right for you. The APR and other fees for payday loans can vary greatly, ranging from 600% to 2,500% APR, and that truly makes a huge difference. Although you are facing a financial emergency, you need to take your time to find the lender that will cost you the least.

The good thing as that these loans will generally be paid out to you the very same day, so long as you are within business hours, although some banks will take electronic deposits outside of those hours as well. Hence, you should have the time needed to compare the market and find a lender that is reputable and will give you the highest amount at the lowest rate, without leaving you in financial dire straits the very next payday.

Always consider whether there are other options out there as well. Borrowing money is always expensive and if there is any way to avoid it, you should.

Business

What to Expect from Cheap Web Hosting Services

The demand for affordable web hosting services continues to rise. Virtually everyone, including large businesses and startups, wants to have a website. If web hosting is a new concept to you and you need to start a website, you may find the process of choosing an option daunting.

Features and Budget

Determining what kind of hosting is most ideal for your requirements involves understanding the available options as well as their features. You also need to evaluate the features provided along with the budget you have set aside for this purpose. This will enable you to find a hosting solution that provides the features you need affordably. These features include:

  • One of the main decisions you will need to make when choosing a hosting service is cost. A cheap paid hosting service is suitable for both personal and professional sites. You can opt for shared hosting that is a popular option among individuals and businesses. The platforms used depend on what the company offers and these could be Linux or Windows.
  • Shared hosting features scalability that makes it possible for people to begin with smaller plans that can be gradually increased along with your growing needs. Shared hosting constitutes low monthly costs and discounted rates that are offered from time to time.
  • Shared hosts provide various features that are aimed at optimizing your site to make it work more efficiently and enhance its dynamism. You will be able to utilize your domain and email address. Customer support ensures that you have access to help when you need it. With shared hosting, server space will be shared with other sites.
  • Dedicated hosting refers to the option of having your site housed by a server on its own. This has the advantage of giving you the independence to decide how resources will be used along with how your server will be used.
  • Dedicated hosting is suitable for larger organizations that attract a lot of traffic. Numerous domains can be used and other sites can be added to a single server if you need to do so. You will enjoy limitless amounts of software options that you have the liberty of installing.

Strong Web Presence

It is important for all businesses to have a strong web presence. This type of presence can only be effectively achieved by having your web page online. Having your own web page will give you the opportunity to be innovative and make it possible for you to make tangible sales through online shopping.

Various factors need to be taken into account when creating a web page. These include factors such as designing the site, coordination and security. Such requirements can only be put in place if you have access to a cheap and reliable web hosting service provider.

There are other hosting services such as cloud and VPS hosting that you can choose according to what you will be able to comfortably sustain. Making the right choice when deciding what type of web hosting service you need depends on sustainability, affordability and the requirements of your site.

Business

Horsedrawn carriages: perfect for corporate events

Horsedrawn carriages are a perfect feature at any corporate event. Once a common part of everyday life, these days a horsedrawn carriage is something to be marvelled at.

Cars, trains and aeroplanes may have left horses well and truly behind in the world of transportation, but they definitely still have their uses. People love horses and they love to ride on horsedrawn carriages.

Therefore if you’re looking to really make your corporate event stand out, horsedrawn carriage hire is perfect. 

Types of corporate events

There are many types of corporate events you can organise. Judging by the charts on colorpopevents.com, the most common tend to be:

  • Paintballing
  • Zombie apocalypse days
  • Yoga
  • Formal parties

All of the above are fun and fantastic ways of marketing and giving your team motivation.

Zombie days are the latest craze and they definitely aren’t for everyone. If you want to really stand out then horsedrawn carriage hire is highly recommended. 

The benefits of horsedrawn carriage hire

There are numerous benefits of hiring horsedrawn carriages for your corporate event. The main ones include:

  • It’s unique
  • Adds style and elegance
  • Attracts more people
  • Fun and memorable

One of the main goals of any business is to be unique. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, you need to have a certain edge. The fact a horsedrawn carriage is unique and not used by many businesses will give you an advantage. You can use it as a marketing strategy and attract more people to the event. Advertising ‘horsedrawn carriage rides’ will definitely get more people interested in your event.

If you’re looking to impress potential clients then horsedrawn carriages will also help with that. They add style and elegance to your event; creating a more high-end theme. While the cost of a horsedrawn carriage isn’t cheap, it will be a long term investment due to the impression it leaves with your clients/customers.

The fun element is also something you can’t ignore. Corporate events can have the tendency to be a little dull. Hiring a horsedrawn carriage will liven things up and make sure your event is anything but boring. This in turn will keep your guests talking about it and that will generate even more interest in the company.

Businesses that do take advantage of horsedrawn carriage hire are clever and resourceful. It’s a well-known fact that people love horses. They represent power and strength which is something you want people to associate with your business. Having horses there will give your business a more important stature.

Overall, there are many ways to make your corporate event a success. Horsedrawn carriages are the topic of many excellent stories. They can really help to set your event apart from the competition. You can either hire the carriages to take people on rides, or simply to stay outside the venue to enhance the theme of the event.

Carriage rides are a great way to explore an area and they can be really fun too. Why not take a look at the cost of horsedrawn carriage hire today to see if it’s something your business could benefit from?

Money Management

How to Stick with Your Financial Goals While Travelling

As you progress toward financial security, you will often find that you quickly fall into a routine.  You will learn to be great at managing your money, sticking to your budget and saving.  While it is easy to fall into a routine with your finances, you will find that it can be difficult to keep on top of financial goals when you aren’t in your usual situation.  Going on vacation is an excellent example of a time when your personal finance routine may become a bit disrupted.  Luckily, with a few easy tips, you can learn to master your finances whether at home or touring the country. I’m going on a vacation soon so I’ll be testing out these tips.

Look at Your Budget

Vacations are important.  More important however is staying on top of your financial goals.  Before planning a trip, first look at your budget.  How much can you afford to spend?  It is better to set the budget first and the destination second.  This will ensure that you can afford the trip you are planning to take.  It is better to know where you stand first, so you don’t get your heart set on something you can’t afford.

Plan, Plan, Plan

A great way to save money on a trip is to really take your time during the planning stages.  Make sure you calculate all of your expected expenses, set aside money for unplanned expenses and consider food, gas and other necessities.  You will also want to be really careful with your packing.  It is easy to spend hundreds of dollars more on a vacation just because you forget important items at home.  Having a plan will help you stick to your financial goals while travelling.

Carry Cash

Most people lack self control.  Don’t get carried away on your vacation.  Carry cash and use it to pay all trip related expenses.  This means gas, food and other expenses.  Carrying credit cards while traveling makes it so much easier to splurge on a souvenir you can’t afford or to let loose and spend more than you were planning.  Carrying cash also helps you to avoid expensive withdrawal fees if you can’t find an ATM from your bank nearby.

As you learn to manage your money, you will need to learn how to handle every situation.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that vacations are a time to forget about personal financial goals.  A week of fun can ruin your financial progress if you don’t plan carefully and remember your budget.

What tips do you have to not go bankrupt on vacation?